What to Do if Your Car Has a Breakdown While You Are Driving

man fixing tire after car breakdown

As summer approaches, family road trips become increasingly common, and it’s important to prioritize your safety. Car breakdowns can quickly turn an adventure into a nightmare. With the right precautions, you can prevent many common issues. 

At Big Chief Tire, our team of experts is here to explore the primary causes of car breakdowns, practical steps to prevent them, and where to turn for reliable vehicle repair.

Car Breakdown Causes

As you hit the road for summer adventures, it’s essential to be aware of common reasons for car breakdowns. From engine troubles to electrical issues, here are some factors that can leave you stranded on your journey:

Tire Problems

A flat tire or even a blowout can happen when you least expect it, potentially leaving you stranded on the road to replace your tire with a spare as cars drive past you. Stay aware of any unusual bumps or noises coming from your tires and safely pull off the main road if necessary. 

Battery Issues

Have you ever left your headlights on or didn’t close your car door all the way? Chances are your battery was dead the following day. A dead battery — whether drained by accident or simply corroded over time — is an extremely common cause of car breakdowns.

Overheated Engine

If you have an oil or coolant leak or are low on either, your engine may overheat. It’s important that you don’t drive your car while it’s too hot, or you could permanently damage internal systems.

Brake Trouble

Brake pads need replacing about every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. However, few vehicle owners are on top of this. They will often wait until they hear their brakes grind or squeal to let them know to take their car into an auto shop in Jacksonville, FL. 

However, it could already be too late by the time you hear anything, and you could be grinding down into your rotors. This is a much more expensive repair than just brake pads. To avoid this, take action to fix your brakes when you first notice a problem.

Transmission Problem

Transmission issues, such as low fluid or a complete breakdown, can immediately make a vehicle immobile. Preventable transmission problems become expensive and difficult to repair if they go on too long. If you notice a leak of transmission fluid, a burning smell, or unusual noises, you’ll want to bring your car in for repair.

How to Avoid a Breakdown

Ideally, you’ll never have to deal with a breakdown in the first place. Here are some simple ways to prevent common causes of car breakdowns:

Check Your Tire Pressure

If it’s too low, add air until you reach your vehicle’s manufacturer-recommended psi.

Test Your Battery

Don’t wait until you can’t start your car — check your battery often to catch it before it goes out.

Request a Coolant Check

Keep your engine from overheating by ensuring there is enough coolant and no leaks in the system.

Check Brake Pads, Rotors & Fluids

Making sure these components are working properly from time to time can prevent inconvenient breakdowns and even accidents.

Regular Transmission Service

Be sure to get your transmission checked, cleaned, and the fluids replaced before your gears start grinding. If you do this regularly, they will likely not start grinding at all.

What to Do if Your Car Has a Breakdown While You Are Driving

  • If possible, safely move your vehicle off the road.
  • Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
  • Assess the situation and call for assistance if needed.
  • Wait in a safe location until help arrives.

Schedule an Appointment With Big Chief Tire to Avoid Future Car Breakdowns

Looking for an auto shop near you that you can trust? Look no further than Big Chief Tire for solutions to any car malfunction. Our auto shop in Jacksonville, FL is a full-service auto maintenance and repair facility with experienced mechanics you can count on. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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